This is not your average salad.It’s amazing – tender spiced Moroccan chicken,sweet apricots, couscous and a delicious citrus dressing. Easy to make – so it’s perfect for entertaining.
2 large chicken breast fillets
1 cup Israeli couscous
1 can chickpeas, rinsed & drained 120g fresh baby spinach
(or other green leaves)
1 cup roasted almonds, chopped 1 cup dried apricots, chopped
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cumin
1⁄2 tsp cinnamon
1⁄2 tsp cayenne or paprika 1⁄2 tsp allspice
1⁄4 cup orange juice Zest of half an orange 2 Tbsp cider vinegar 1⁄4 cup mild olive oil
1 tsp runny honey
Serving ideas: decorate with mixed seeds, microgreens, fresh coriander or mint leaves.
Do you give stretching much thought? Many people perform a quick stretch after a workout or a run, then forget about it until the next time. Whether or not you lead an active lifestyle, regular stretching offers a simple way to improve your health.
To understand how stretching helps, we first must know what muscles do. Imagine our muscles are like the carriages on a train; each one connected by a coupling. As we contract a muscle, it shortens. In our train analogy, contraction brings the carriages closer together − it makes the train shorter. In our body, muscle contraction is what generates movement.
Regular stretching lengthens muscle tissue and increases flexibility, which we need to maintain a range of motion in our joints.
What happens if we don’t stretch?
Our bodies are efficient, so if a muscle remains contracted for long periods, the ‘extra carriages’ are deemed unnecessary. After all, every ‘carriage’ requires sustenance and maintenance. By removing what isn’t used, those resources can be used elsewhere. In our bodies this can result in shorter, tighter muscles, reduced flexibility and stiffness, loss of strength, reduced blood flow, and pain. These muscular changes are commonly seen with poor posture, continual sitting, and following injury.
Stretching, then, helps to restore the lost carriages. It also figuratively oils the couplings. As with brushing your teeth, a daily routine improves outcomes. The benefits include improved range of motion, enhanced blood flow, better posture, and relief from shoulder and back pain.
Stretching tips and safety
As with all exercise, there are some safety guidelines. If you have an injury or any physical limitations, only perform stretches recommended for you by a health professional.
The best time to stretch is after you work out or have warmed your body up with some light exercise. Cold muscles are not as pliable, which makes stretching more difficult and risky.
Don’t overdo it. If you’re stretching the same muscle groups too often, you risk over- stretching and causing injuries, inflammation and pain. Think back to the train. If we were to force the carriages too far apart, damage would occur.
Should stretching feel painful? The short answer is no, but it’s normal to feel some tension. A stretch should feel like a stretch!
If you experience pain or you have any questions about stretching, ask your Adam's Back chiropractor for advice.
Whiplash occurs when your head is rapidly forced backward and forward. The sudden movement causes your neck’s muscles, tendons and ligaments to stretch and tear.This commonly creates significant ongoing problems.
Either way, life can become harder; anxiety, depression, and mood disorders are frequent in people with whiplash. If this injury occurs when you’re older, or already have neck or lower back pain, there’s a greater chance of delayed recovery. This means an intensive treatment plan is usually needed.
As you can see, the impact of whiplash can be serious and ongoing. Seek prompt professional help – we know that fast treatment improves recovery. Your chiropractor can evaluate your condition and provide tailored advice and treatment.
Have you heard of the term nutrigenomics? Awareness of this new scientific field is slowly seeping into the mainstream and more and more people are becoming interested. Why, and what is it? How might this approach help you to live a healthier, longer life? These are important questions!
The phrase “you are what you eat” was coined in 1850; although humans have known that food plays a role in health for thousands of years. Through time, science, knowledge, and our ability to create more advanced tools has evolved. We now know the world of genetics and nutrition are intimately linked − birthing the field of nutrigenomics.
In the term nutrigenomics ‚ ‘nutri’ refers to nutrition. Genomics denotes the study of genes and how our genetic blueprint interacts with the environment and with itself. Nutrigenomics, then, refers to the discipline that connects the two. It helps to answer these questions: How do our genes and the food we eat interact? What are the potential health repercussions? How can we make better choices?
The hope or goal is to maintain or improve health by analysing an individual’s DNA − their unique genetic code − then use the findings, along with medical and other relevant information, to tailor the ideal nutrition plan and guidance.
Each person‘s genetic expression is different; we‘re unique, complex, and live very different lives. We have diverse stressors, varied food preferences, and distinctive risks of illness. Knowing what foods best suit us and which supplements will make a difference is enticing. Although the field of nutrigenomics is still young; we have some expertise already, and with time it has the potential to change how well − and how long − we live.
Have you ever wondered if using your mind more could improve your health? The simple answer is yes, it can. Mind-body practices can deliver a range of evidence- based benefits for our physical and mental wellbeing; plus they’re accessible, easy-to-do, and enjoyable.
Meditation is one of the mind-body practices that focus on the connections between our brain, mind, and body. It has a long history of use for increasing calmness, relaxation, coping with illness, and enhancing overall health and well-being.
One of the major arguments for incorporating meditation into daily life is that it combats psychological strain and has been shown to reduce stress and its associated issues. Chronic stress is common and can lead to a raft of physical issues, such as increased inflammation and susceptibility to viral infection.
A number of studies on the effects of meditation have noted many other benefits. These include: a reduced risk of
inflammation-related diseases, reduced fatigue, improved sleep, and fewer depressive symptoms. That’s not surprising given that studies suggest that regular meditation can affect the part of the brain involved in processing emotions. Activity in the regions of the brain connected with anxiety and stress diminishes, and the areas associated with ease and clarity expand. Positive mood and a sense of peace grow. The world feels easier to navigate.
Meditation has benefits for easing pain, too. Whether acute or chronic, mild or severe, pain can impact strongly on day to day living. Pain is common, and sadly, so are problems like addiction as people search for ways to cope. Meditation has been shown to help control both short and long-term pain.
Meditation, then, can offer a simple way to calm mental tension, improve physical and psychological wellbeing and quell pain. The benefits are potentially profound. Talk to your chiropractor about how you can incorporate mind-body practices into your life.
Taking a closer look at the salt you get in your diet might surprise you. If you don’t keep track of your sodium intake, it could be time to start.
Salt, also known as Sodium chloride or NaCl, is a chemical compound which is found in our foods. Both of the components of salt – the sodium and the chloride – are essential for health. Our bodies use it to absorb and transport nutrients, maintain blood pressure, maintain our fluid balance, transmit nerve signals, and contract and relax muscles.
Too little or too much salt can be harmful to your health, however most people get too much in the modern diet, which can contribute to some of our most common and serious diseases.
High sodium intake is closely linked with hypertension (high blood pressure), which is a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases and kidney disease. The link between high sodium intake and stroke is very clear, prompting campaigns to encourage people to check their salt intake.
Both Australian and New Zealand Governments recommend a suggested dietary target of 2000mg of sodium per day for adults (one teaspoon of salt contains 2,300 mg of sodium). Half of this amount would still give most people more than they need. The current average sodium intake in Australia is about 3600mg a day.
A low sodium level can also cause serious health problems. It’s known as hyponatremia and occurs when water and sodium are out of balance – so there’s either too much water or not enough sodium in your blood. It is uncommon and usually only seen in people with certain pre-existing medical conditions, although other causes can include severe vomiting or diarrhoea, and certain drugs.
Where do we get salt from in our diets?
Salt occurs naturally in many foods, and a balanced diet will contain enough without having to add any.
How to reduce salt intake
We easily get used to adding salt to our diet, so when we start to cut back food may taste bland – gradually reducing your intake may help you to adjust slowly. Get used to checking food labels, eat fewer takeaways and processed foods, and liven up your home cooking by using a mix of herbs and spices instead of salt.
Summer gives us plenty of chances for outdoor activities and movement. You may be eager to try a new hiking trail or to take up jogging or biking. Plus, don’t forget about those projects round he house that need to be finished.
All your extra movement is just another boost for your health. Your body is made to move and actually thrives off it. With more activity there comes with an increased risk for new injuries or old injury flare-ups. Remember that chiropractic treatments are a great injury prevention step that you can take. Making sure your joints can move with full range of motion and without pain, will reduce the likelihood of incurring injury but also speed up recovery should injury occur.
Head out and spending some times with nature - it has it’s own way of providing healing. Take your shoes off and bury your feet in the sand or dirt. The earth holds a negative charge and has a grounding effect on your body. It can help to balance the electrical charge throughout your body as being in contact with the ground removes positively charged free radicles. It is these free radicles that can often cause damaging reactions throughout the body. Remember that your body is an electromagnetic field. Not just cells needing energy. Being around living things, animals, and nature brings calm and balance to the body. Reduced inflammation, better sleep, a stronger immune system and a sense of wellbeing can be just a few of the benefits.
Be sure to stay hydrated! There is no single recommendation for everyone as to the amount of water of water needed each day to keep hydrated. Individual body needs vary as influence for environmental conditions, physical activity and metabolism, as well as fluid intake from other sources are all contributing factors to the ‘how much water you should consume’ calculation. Recommendations endorsed by the National Health and Medical Research Council are that men over the age of 19 require 2.6L of fluid each day. Fluid can include plain water but also milk and other drinks. Should you be living or working in an especially hot climate you can expect to ned more fluid each day to stay properly hydrated.
Remember that the more you move and perspire the more hydration you will need. Ensuring your body is properly hydrated helps with any treatment you’re currently receiving. Fluid movement is important for healing nutrients to get delivered to cells all over your body, and a hydrated body recovers more quickly because there is less fluid stagnation throughout.
Lastly, but by no means least, enjoy summer! Whether it be spending time with family or catching up with friends, the more laughter, smiles and movement we get the merrier we are!
Picture from Pinterest
A refreshing fruity dessert that’s easy to make, tastes delicious, and is a healthier and lighter alternative to ice-cream.
1 1/2 Cup Frozen Raspberries
1 1/2 Cup Unsweetened Greek Yoghurt
2 Tbsp Runny Honey or Maple Syrup
1/2 Cup Chopped Walnuts
1/2 Cup Freeze-Dried Raspberries or Blueberries, Lightly Crushed
Remove from freezer and let stand for 10 minutes, decorate and serve
Obesity-related illness is higher than ever throughout the Westernised world, and it’s becoming more of a problem for our children.
Obesity is fast becoming a health crisis; it’s a high risk factor for many serious illnesses, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, and stroke.
The majority of research shows that sugar- sweetened drinks are strongly linked to weight gain, so cracking down on these is one of the simplest ways to reduce the risk of children becoming obese.
Sugary drinks include soft drinks, energy drinks, and flavoured waters. They have little or no nutritional benefit, and can contain a shocking amount of sugar. Generally people know about the dangers these pose to their teeth and gum health, but may be unaware of the sheer volume of empty kilojoules they’re drinking.
These highly sweetened drinks – which often also contain caffeine and assorted additives – can be addictive, and it’s easy for kids to get hooked on them. However there are some simple ways to break the habit and reduce your family’s consumption.
How to cut out sugary drinks
First, remove the temptation – don’t keep sweet drinks in the home.
Getting everyone into the habit of drinking water is the best option, although it may not be easy. Try sparkling water, adding a slice of fruit, mint leaves, or cucumber to make it appealing. Milk or healthy milk alternatives are also a good choice.
Avoid drinks containing artificial sweeteners as they won’t help break the sugar habit. Fruit juices may not be the healthy alternative they seem either – they have a high sugar content and relatively low nutrients.
Remember young children can only consume what you give to them, so you can ensure they eat healthily. As children get older, education is important. It’s not always easy to get teenagers to take health risks seriously. Giving them the right information and ensuring they understand the seriousness of a poor diet is a good start.
We don’t need sugary drinks and it’s best to avoid them altogether. If your child is already keen on them, expect some resistance, be patient, lead by example, and know that you’re doing your best for your family’s health.
As school heads back for another year it’s the ideal time to consider your child’s backpack. Is it fitted correctly? Too heavy? Could it be damaging their spine and health?
Our posture is affected by the size, weight, and the way we carry our bags. Research shows that school backpacks often weigh 15-25% of a child’s body weight. This weight is lugged around daily, and regularly carrying a heavy load strains the spine. A forward lean is often adopted in order to remain upright. A bag worn on one shoulder can lead to spinal imbalance. A backpack’s size can alter how the head sits on the neck. These spinal adaptations can trigger neck and back pain and headache.
The first consideration is the size and type of backpack. It should be appropriately sized for your child, and padded at the back. Next, the backpack should sit at the top of the hips. Hip belts help to distribute the load. Thick, padded shoulder straps must be worn over both shoulders.
Next is the load. Heavy items like textbooks should be placed at the base and to the back of the bag. Light items can be positioned at the front. If the bag and its contents weigh more than 10% of your child’s body weight, it’s too heavy. Discuss and decide what can be left out and make regular reassessments to ensure the weight stays low.
The way your child wears their backpack matters to their health. It’s important to get this right! If you’re unsure about your child’s bag, or whether they’re wearing it correctly, ask your chiropractor for expert advice.
Adam's Back is a team of dedicated complimentary health professionals. Our aim is to support you in finding drug-free solutions for better health.